Section I, Article 5

Safety is the foundation of research. Without a safety focus, confidence in the lab can go hand-in-hand with carelessness, a sense that nothing can go wrong because nothing has gone wrong. Build real confidence by committing to being part of a safety first culture every day.

Basic Safety Guidelines

All occupants of chemistry buildings must:

  1. Have completed online safety training in BioRaft within the past year (minimum: EHSO Research Laboratory Safety Training course). This is true even for those who are not working in a wet lab space. If your regular working space is in Atwood Chemistry Center or Emerson Hall, you must complete safety training every year.
  2. Always be able to locate emergency equipment including the emergency shower, eyewash, spill kit, first aid, and fire extinguisher.

In addition, all occupants of laboratory spaces must:

  1. Be familiar with the Chemical Hygiene Plan and follow safe laboratory practices (
  2. Wear appropriate PPE for the laboratory work being done (minimum: long pants, closed toed shoes, fire retardant laboratory coat, and eye protection).
  3. Not work alone in any laboratory space.  It is your responsibility to coordinate with other researchers to ensure that you have a colleague with you in the lab at all times.
  4. Properly dispose of all chemical waste, including broken glassware, as directed.
  5. Read the labels of chemicals carefully and follow all handling procedures.

Access to detailed safety information is available via the Safety Data Sheets (“SDS’s”) which should be provided by your lab supervisor. SDSs contains information on the potential health effects of exposure and how to work safely with chemicals as well as hazard evaluations on the use, storage, handling, and emergency procedures related to that chemical/item. Ensure that you are aware of the SDS’s that apply to your lab and read them carefully.

What to do When There is a Fire Alarm

  • Evacuate the building immediately using the closest exit – not the elevator.
  • While exiting the building, remain aware of your surroundings – feel doors for heat before opening, close unlocked doors behind you, stay low if there is smoke, etc.
  • Once outside the building, go to the 1st floor of the Peavine parking deck.
  • Inform a department representative of any building occupant that does not arrive at the Peavine parking deck. 
  • If for any reason you are unable to leave a room,
    • dial 911 or EPD at 404 727-6111 and provide your exact location if a phone is available,
    • wait at a window if possible and signal for help,
    • keep the room door closed and unlocked, 
    • stuff wet clothing or towels under the door to keep out smoke/vapors, and
    • stay close to the ground if there is smoke.
  • Do not re-enter the building until you hear an “ALL CLEAR” announced by Facilities.

What to do When There is Instruction to Seek Shelter

In case of a tornado siren:
  • Proceed immediately to the 1st floor hallway of your respective building, away from windows.
  • Remain at the tornado shelter location until Emory sends an alert to the community that the NWS tornado warning has expired.
In case of campus violence or ongoing police action:
  • Move to a safe area that can be secured or evacuate from the building/area immediately.
  • Lock and barricade doors.
  • Turn off lights and close blinds.
  • Silence cell phones and keep occupants calm, quiet, and out of sight.
  • If you are confronted by an active shooter, you are encouraged to RUN away to escape the threat, but, if this is not possible, you should HIDE or FIGHT as a last resort. 
  • If the police arrive, remain calm and follow officer instructions while raising your hands and avoiding quick movements.

Reporting Responsibilities

If there is an injury during an emergency, please remember to complete the PeopleSoft accident injury report after the health and safety of the affected person(s) has been stabilized. If you are unsure who is responsible for completing this report, please contact your lab supervisor or P.I.

If there is a fire that requires mitigation of any kind, please report the incident to the Emory Police Department after the fire has been mitigated.  Further, if a fire extinguisher was used, please complete a Work Management “Fire Extinguisher” Work Order or call Work Management at 404-727-7463 to have the fire extinguisher replaced. If you are unsure who is responsible for completing either of these documents, please contact your lab supervisor or P.I.

Personal Safety

The main doors to chemistry buildings are open to the Emory community during the working day and, without warning, may be open at other times. You should keep your personal belongings under your control at all times.

Student Intervention Services

Student Case Management And Intervention Services assists students and their families on an ongoing basis and in times of crisis – including but not limited to meeting academic, medical, financial, and social challenges. Student Intervention Services is the appropriate office to contact for assistance with your own well being or to seek help for a student colleague for whom you are urgently concerned. Scholars are also encouraged to familiarize themselves with other support resources at Emory in the Student Resource Guide appendix to this handbook.

Emergency Contact List

Emergency (police, fire or EMS)911 or 404-727-6111
Non-emergency Emory police404-727-6115
EHSO spill response team404-727-2888
Flood or other urgent facilities issue404-727-7463
Student Intervention Services404-727-4193

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Next: Section II: First Year